The Island of Burano

The Island of Burano

The colourful island of Burano is a suburb located just to the northeast of Venice. It is a short boat ride (11km) away and is a great option for those looking to escape the crowds of Venice on a relaxing day trip.

It is thought that Burano came to be when residents of Altino fled to the relative safety of the Venice Lagoon in order to escape capture by barbarians who had taken Altino. The name Burano comes from ‘Porta Boreana’ which was the name of one of the city gates in Altino.

Like many of the other islands in the Venice Lagoon, Burano is actually made up of a number of islets that are separated by canals and joined together by a series of bridges. In Burano’s case, 4 small islets are connected to form the main island. What makes Burano stand out in comparison to other islands within the Venice lagoon are the beautifully coloured houses.

Burano is…Colourful

Burano is instantly recognisable thanks to the patchwork of colourful houses that line the banks of the canals. The colours reflect off the usually calm, turquoise-green waters of the canals in a dreamy way - it is no wonder Burano continues to be a popular residence for artists.

There are various explanations as to how the tradition of colourful houses came to be. Aside from being useful to mark property boundaries, an ancient legend refers to how fishermen painted their houses so they could see them from long distances away.

Whatever the reason it remains a serious endeavour on Burano and if a resident wishes to paint their home, they must contact the local government, who will determine the certain colours permitted for that particular lot.

A History of Lace Making

The primary trade on Burano is lacemaking, specifically needle lace which is made entirely by hand. The lacemaking industry on Burano flourished in the 16th Century with the ‘Punto di Burano' style becoming the mainstay of the industry up until the early 19th Century when the lacemaking industry began to slow down. In 1872 the lacemaking industry was revived.

If you choose to visit Burano it is possible to spend some time in one of the specialised shops where you can watch one of the local craftswomen working on the Burano Lace.

Take a tour of Burano with Venice Events and you have the opportunity to learn some of the basic techniques involved in lacemaking as the lace maker demonstrates some of the various stitches involved in making these intricate works of art.

The Three Islands of the Lagoon guided tour is a day tour that departs from Venice and takes in the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. This is a wonderful way to experience these quaint islands that ensures you get the most out of your time whilst avoiding some of the familiar tourist traps.

Contact our friendly team to find out more!